Cleat Geeks

Special Events Announced For The 2018 MLB Season

Major League Baseball is getting close. If you listen hard enough you can hear the crack of the bat and a fastball slicing through the air 60 feet 6 inches until it collides with leather. I am excited for Spring Training, one of the best months of the year, but MLB recently released some information on several particular games and events that will be taking place in the regular season.

This year, the season will actually start on a Thursday March 29th. ESPN will provide extensive Opening Day coverage that begins with the Cubs visiting the Marlins at 12:40 p.m. ET, followed by the defending World Series-champion Astros visiting the intrastate-rival Rangers at 3:35 p.m. ET. The quadrupleheader on ESPN continues with the defending National League-champion Dodgers hosting the NL West-rival Giants at 7:08 p.m. ET, and then the Indians at the Mariners getting underway at 10:10 p.m. ET.

The most recent time the regular season began on a Thursday was 2011, and that also was the most recent time that Cincinnati played its “traditional” opener on the actual first day of the season. Both will happen again in 2018, as Joey Votto and the Reds will host the Nationals at 4:10 p.m. ET.

Jackie Robinson Day will be celebrated throughout MLB on Sunday, April 15, and that will include a 4:10 p.m. ET start for the D-backs and Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Image result for 2017 alcs

Play-off Teams Face Off 

The Astros and Yankees, who went the distance in the 2017 American League Championship Series, will play a four-game set at Minute Maid Park, beginning at 8:10 p.m. ET on Monday, April 30. Those clubs will also meet for a three-game series at Yankee Stadium beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28.

In a rematch of the past two NL Championship Series, the Cubs will host the Dodgers at Wrigley Field for a three-game series beginning at 8:05 p.m. ET on Monday, June 18. The clubs will reunite a week later for a four-game set at Dodger Stadium, starting at 10:10 p.m. ET on Monday, June 25.

An All-Star Change

The Cardinals will visit the Cubs starting at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 19th. Which more than likely does not seem like a big deal or even a schedule change. Per the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement, players will have three added off-days in 2018, and they no longer will play an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game on the Sunday before the All-Star Game. That accommodation, which will relax travel demands for some All-Stars, means the addition of a Thursday night game on what largely has been an idle day across MLB. MLB finally did something for the players that honestly will not effect the viewing public. There will be no Sunday Night Game before the All-Star break, it will be replaced by a Thursday Night Game. Seems like something that should have been done a long time ago.

Image result for mlb little league classic 2018The 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be hosted by the Nationals on Tuesday, July 17.

The MLB Little League Classic Will Return

The MLB Little League Classic will return on Aug. 19 to Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa., with a 7 p.m. ET start time between the Mets and Phillies.

International Baseball

In special international events, the Twins will host the Indians on April 17-18 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Padres will host the Dodgers at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey on May 4-6 in Monterrey, Mexico.

Celebrating Baseball Aniversaries

In the 110th anniversary season of the 1908 Fall Classic, the Cubs and Tigers will meet for a two-game series at Wrigley Field on July 3-4, as well as a two-game series at Comerica Park on Aug. 21-22.

In the 30th anniversary season of the 1988 World Series, the Dodgers and the A’s will play a two-game series at Dodger Stadium on April 10-11, as well as a two-game series at Oakland Coliseum on Aug. 7-8.

Where Can Fans Catch The Action On Free Television?

Overall, ESPN will broadcast 10 games over the first six days of the 2018 season. Those match-ups will include five of the 10 clubs that participated in the 2017 postseason.

FOX will begin its national coverage on March 31 when the Rangers host the Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington at 4:07 p.m. ET on FS1. MLB on TBS live game coverage will return on July 8 and continue each Sunday through the end of the regular season.Image result for chicago cubs vs cleveland indians

MLB Network will have extensive coverage of Opening Day, featuring 17 hours of live coverage beginning at 9 a.m. ET on March 29, followed the next day by the return of its regular-season programming lineup of MLB Central, High Heat with Christopher Russo, The Rundown, MLB Now, Intentional Talk, MLB Tonight and Quick Pitch, with live look-ins at games in progress, previews, highlights and analysis.

Interleague Play

Interleague Play throughout the season will feature the AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West. Notable series will feature renewals of four World Series match-ups over the past 10 years, including Phillies-Rays (April 13-15 at Tropicana Field); Cubs-Indians (April 24-25 at Progressive Field, May 22-23 at Wrigley); Yankees-Phillies (June 25-27 at Citizens Bank Park); and Giants-Rangers (Aug. 24-26 at AT&T Park).

The Final Day

The final day of the 2018 regular season, which features 12 divisional match-ups, is scheduled for Sunday, September 30. For the fourth consecutive year, all games played on the final scheduled day of the regular season will begin at 3 p.m. ET, with potential postseason ramifications at stake. I loved this change when they implemented it a few seasons ago. I am glad they are keeping it.

 

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